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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Dick, Pat, Randy & I took off yesterday and headed southwest to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, just an hour from our campground. Eureka Springs gained its fame for the healing spring in the center of the town. Native Americans came for the peace and the white settlers found it in the 1850s. It was also neutral ground where both Federal and Confederate soldiers came during the Civil War for medical treatment.

In addition to the spring, you'll find many unique shops, cafes, and artists up and down the main street. For my Maryland buddies, it very much reminded Randy & I of Main Street Ellicott City.

The drive to Eureka Springs was a pretty one. If you're a scenery junkie like we are, you would love it here. Everywhere you look there is another picturesque scene.

Just as we came to the edge of town, we stopped at The Great Passion Play grounds. This play was first performed in the summer of 1968 and in 2003 not only celebrated its 35th anniversary, but also welcomed its 7 millionth visitor! The amphitheater where the Passion Play is performed is very large. The scenery was in its place and if you tried just a bit, you could imagine the scenes unfolding. We have never seen a Passion Play, but I would imagine it is rather powerful.

There was no performance going on, but Pat & Dick wanted to show us the statue of Christ that is on the grounds as well as the amphitheater where the play takes place. This statue is called "Christ of the Ozarks" and it is HUGE!!!!! Jesus is standing with his arms stretched out to the sides as if He is welcoming all to Him. (And, of course, He is!) It is a very peaceful setting.

There is also a piece of the Berlin Wall on the grounds. It's 10 x 10 feet and has a bit of Psalm 23 written on it. Pretty cool.

Our last stop of the day was Thorncrown Chapel, another place Pat really wanted us to see. This very unique chapel sits in the woods just outside of Eureka Springs. It is 48 feet tall and its wooden structure contains 425 windows with over 6,000 square feet of glass. It is the dream-come-true of Jim Reed, an Arkansas native, who purchased the land on which the chapel sits for his retirement home. So many folks found this location a great spot for viewing the Ozark hills, that Jim got the idea of building the glass chapel as a place for those folks to enjoy the area in an inspiring manner. We found it to be a place of peace and tranquility. Another unexpected jewel in our travels.

I sure do wish I could share my pictures from yesterday with you. I know I keep saying that, but it bugs me not to be able to do so. I'm just gonna have to remember to do a picture post when I have a better connection. We leave here this Thursday, so hopefully at the next stop.

Today was a lazy day. I got up early and did three loads of laundry and that was pretty much it for the day. We were heathens and didn't go to church. :) I did go out to the store with Pat to get some stuff for dinner tonight and we also picked up tickets for "Noah - the Musical." We're going to that on Tuesday; it's a Sight & Sound production, just like we have in Lancaster, PA. Yeah, I know. I had to travel thousands of miles to go to a show we can go to back home. Hush.

Pat fixed dinner for us tonight. It was scrumptious - pork roast, green beans, a potato dish, and dessert. I contributed a tossed salad. Yummy.

Tomorrow we're going to visit/tour the College of the Ozarks in Branson. It's a unique college where many of the students do not pay tuition - they work for their education in various trades. Should be interesting. I'll let you know!

Until the next time . . .

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